Hard Case Crime/Titan Comics 2016
Written by Christa Faust & Gary Phillips
Illustrated by Andrea Camerini
Coloured by Marco Lesko
Lettered by Tom Williams
It’s Christmas in the big city but things are far from jolly. With Aiesha’s son Lorenzo facing a murder rap, A.J. takes matters into her own hands in order to cover the legal fees. Elsewhere, Simon Went’s goons — Ray and Benny — are getting warmer in their strong-armed search for the missing videotape. Meanwhile, Roxy takes in a punk show at the legendary CBGBs.
One of the things i’m really enjoying about this series is the fact that these characters work in fields that some may find questionable but are pretty unapologetic about it. Doing what you have to do to make a living and working in a Peepshow well it’s honest work. Yes i’m sure some are druggies but Aiesha has a son to take care of and the money’s obviously good enough so it’s nice to see them do what they do without shame involved. Plus the girls have formed something of a family among them and that’s the greatest gift of all.
Christa and Gary do a wonderful job with not only the structuring of this story but with the characterisation as well. I’m super impressed with how they’ve been able to really get us know the characters and how we can either relate to them or empathise with them. Also that a woman has come forward to say she saw what happened in Central Park, that would clear Lorenzo, we get the sense that something with this Detective isn’t on the up and up. Why well it’s his look to be honest.
Andrea and Marco do some extraordinary work on the interiors here. The attention to detail is incredible to see. The use of backgrounds really flesh out the scenes and give us that bigger picture going on. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective are beautifully utilised. Then there are the faces and the facial expression that along with the body language we see further the characterisation of whom we see.
Snyder made his play and we knew he was going to pay a price for that. Though to see it happen this quickly was a bit of a surprise. Also please tell me that he was able to get at least one copy to a place that Roxy can get it. I mean after all it’d be a shame if that angle were already done and over. By the way the tapes hiding place was genius and could only have been better if it were Boo Berry!
I am amazed at how well this story flows through the pages. The pacing is really something to see as we feel like we’re getting so much in such a short amount of space. Then of course once it’s over we still want more and that of course is the sign of an excellent story. The transition between the cast of characters and what they are going through, seemingly in concert with each other, is smooth as silk.
With an unlikely cast of characters who would rather do right by each other than by the law makes this a stand out story!